A buddy of mine at work, who is roughly the the same age as me (55), informed me one day that he had been “talked into signing up with Facebook.” He then went on to describe how stupid and pointless it is. I asked him about Twitter;
“Oh hell no”, he said. “I can see where teenagers would like it. They can talk on the phone for 3 hours about nothing. But what am I going to tell everybody, that I cut my toenails today? Who gives a shit!”
I have to admit, I’m somewhat sympathetic to this view. I signed up with this stuff last March, and although I’ve found it interesting in a sociological kind of way, I haven’t been able to make much use of it. As the conversation with my friend went on, I told him that I had followed on endurance auto race from Japan, courtesy of Drayson Racing. It triggered some long forgotten memories.
In the early ’60’s, Major League Baseball was almost always played during the day. Most stadiums didn’t have lights yet, and even for those that did, night games were a novelty. For a school aged kid, this presented a problem until the invention of the pocket sized transistor radio. Whether a jock or a nerd, cool guy or dweeb, on certain days in October, the kid with the transistor radio was the most popular kid in school.
During recess, we’d follow that poor kid around the playground like a pack of dogs waiting for their bowls. At lunchtime, you would have seen us all out on the grass, Indian Council style, in a circle, cross-legged, in silence, staring at the tiny magic box.
As time went on, they came out with a little ear piece that connected to the radio with a wire. That meant that if a kid was sufficiently discreet, he could listen in class. Updates could be whispered. or notes could be passed, and we could all stay informed. One time I remember, the teacher was writing on the blackboard with her back turned to the class when a kid near the front and off to the side held up his binder with the message:
and that’s when it clicked. Waiting for the Twitter updates had turned me into a 10 year old again.
Of course, the kid would eventually get caught. No worries, another would have one and the updates would continue. As the saying goes, history doesn’t repeat itself, it rhymes.
On March 20, the regular race season opens with the 12 hours of Sebring. I don’t know if other teams are doing this yet. Multiple Twitter updates could be as good a way to “watch” the race as any.
In any case, I’ve found another use for Twitter. It took a long time, but it was just a matter of staying with it. Sooner or later, the Law of Unintended Consequences kicks in.
That’s all for today. It’s time to cut my toenails.